A March 12, a Funny or Die public service announcement for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence features an actor and actress trying to act gangsta with bb guns, waving them around and discussing states in which criminals who “wear leather jackets and scream at women” can most easily carry guns.
The ad is obviously part of a push to reignite the failed background check expansion legislation that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, and others pushed in 2013. Giffords has since begun pushing the measure again, along with Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA-5th), who argues that we need to protect children by extending instances of the same background checks Adam Lanza circumvented on December 14, 2012.
In the Funny or Die PSA, the actress says: “Up till now it’s been difficult for criminals like us to know which states have loose gun laws.” She then waves her bb gun around and bounces it up and down as if it’s firing, then asks, “How would a criminal like me know which states permit me to carry loaded guns in their amusement parks, golf courses, or beaches?”
Her male cohort then says, “I have some violent friends. We all wear leather jackets and scream at women. And we want to find out [in] which states we can buy and sell guns easily.”
They then point viewers to a parody site–crimadvisor.com–and list Arizona as the number one state in which to buy guns easily. They do this because Arizona–like Alaska, Montana, Vermont, and Wyoming–allows the carrying of a firearm for self-defense without a permit.
They then list Nevada as number one on their “traffickers’ top ten” list, and talk about guns from Nevada being trafficked to California for crime. The problem with this–a DOJ memo from early 2013 showed that many of the guns used for crime in Los Angeles actually originated in the Los Angeles area, not via a trafficking scheme often presented by pro-gun control groups.
But the Funny or Die commercial rolls on, with the actress looking down the barrel of her bb gun, sticking the end of the barrel in her mouth, and taking the magazine out while the actor segues to states where criminals “are not so welcome” because gun control is more established.
Among these they list New Hampshire, which means they must not know about the current push to do away with concealed carry permits in that state. The NH Senate wants to handle carrying guns the same way that Arizona, Alaska, Montana, Vermont, and Wyoming do.
For some reason, the Funny or Die video never mentions the high gun crime and murder rate in heavily gun controlled Chicago. Nor do they discuss how violent crime drops when states make it easier for citizens to carry a gun for self-defense.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.